Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Quick Start: General History

If you are put off by the number and organization of resources in my General History chapter, here are some resources to jump into your research.


World history:

For the history of countries outside of the United States, I suggest the Library of Congress Country Studies. Here’s my take on why it would be useful to you.


United States History:

America’s Story – “jump back in time” – A K-12 centered view of history with timelines and short articles. This can help get you oriented in US history.  I reviewed the section from the Depression to WWII for the Writer’s Guide.

Chronicling America (1836-1922)  – Digitized newspapers. Excellent source of contemporary opinion and ads of a particularly area.  Read more about why I think it could be useful to you. 

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940 – First hand accounts of life in 19th and 20th century America. Read more about the usefulness of this resource. 

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 – First hand accounts of freed slaves collected in the 1930s. Read more about how this resource could be used in your work. 


After you’ve sampled a few of the above resources, I hope you’ll come back and see what else is available from General History.


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